Manufactured Home Handicapped Access is an Important Consideration!
As seniors age and more “baby boomers” retire, many of whom will live in manufactured homes, the need for wheelchair accessibility of entry and/or exit to the home increases in necessity. If you are lucky to live long enough, and many of us are, you will eventually lose the ability to climb stairs. The appropriate time to address that is when you are contemplating the purchase of a new manufactured home.
Typically, a manufactured home is installed approximately three feet above grade, necessitating steps at each entry and exit door. When a ramp is used to displace the steps on a home, a 36 foot long ramp is required because each 12 foot horizontal length drops 12 inches, taking up a lot of space. Installing a handicap ramp of this size is only possible if the plot of land being used is large enough to accommodate. The good news is that there are other alternatives to be considered that might better your situation if limited space is a consideration.
Decrease the Height of Manufactured Home
On a placement site that is near perfectly level it is possible to install the home using shorter piers or blocks to a height from ground to floor to be about 16 inches. This will require that the tires and axles to be removed from the home chassis. Sixteen inches is probably the lowest the home can be set above grade to allow for crawl space underneath home. Use of shorter piers and/or blocks has the advantage of stabilizing the home if there is soil shifting at the site.
At this height you will be able to use a much shorter ramp to entrance. It may also allow you to create a ramp using asphalt or concrete to a porch landing.
Residential Wheelchair Lifts
Residential lifts are less expensive, adapt to high entries, can be used by all parties visiting and their footprint is much smaller than ADA ramps. Many manufacturers can incorporate “lift ready” applications into the manufactured home front entry porches.The only draw back, they won’t work in an emergency during a loss of power.
In Ground Low Profile Installation
Excavating a site to allow the home to be installed with door entries to be at ground level is becoming very popular with many manufactured home purchasers. This installation method eliminates the need for stairs and does not require the use of skirting around the exterior of the home as the perimeter foundation blocking is below ground level of home. The low profile of the home makes it appear more residential than a home installed in the conventional manner.This type of installation goes by various names, such as; a pit-set. a low profile installation, a dig-in, or a low silhouette installation.
Whether you or a family member are handicapped, and/or might be in the future, you will find that a high quality manufactured home can be built and installed to your specific and personal special needs and desires, and at a price that will likely be 20 to 40% less than a comparably priced site-built home.
For More on information, read: “Manufactured Homes For The Handicapped”